The Hood County Substance Abuse Council (HCSAC) is collaborating with Cook Children’s Safe Kid Program and will be handing out lock boxes during the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 23.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, HCSAC, the Hood County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 21st opportunity in 11 years to prevent pill abuse and theft — giving them the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Individuals can bring their pills on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 23, to the Hood County Emergency Operations Center at 401 Deputy Miller Dr., the local Brazos River Authority office at 4510 Mambrino Highway, or Acton Elementary School at 3200 Acton School Road.

The disposal sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps — only pills or patches.

“Something that we've done in the past with Drug Take-Back Day is Deterra, which is a drug activation kit,” said Teresa Turner, HCSAC director. “You just pour your unused, unwanted or expired medicine in the bag, fill it about two thirds of the way up with warm water, you seal it, shake it and put it in the trash can, and it binds permanently. There's nothing that can break the bond. It's a very, very good product, and the package is made out of coconut hulls, I believe, and so it is completely biodegradable.”

In 2020, 1,679 pounds of prescription drugs were incinerated in Hood County alone.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from their home medicine cabinet.

During the 1980s, 1989 had the highest number of deaths related to a drug overdose with 5,035. In 2019, that number increased exponentially with as many as 70,630 people losing their lives due to a drug overdose, according to the website cdc.gov.

Turner said HCSAC worked with County Judge Ron Massingill’s office on a proclamation in 2020 to bring awareness and discourage “social hosting” — which sometimes allows for harmful consumption of alcohol among minors by the assistance of those of legal age.

HCSAC also submitted a proclamation to the Hood County Commissioner’s Court for approval on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Both proclamations were accepted, designating October 2021 as both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Substance Abuse Awareness Month.

The coalition is also planning its second fundraiser hosting comedian Jeff Allen in “The America I Grew Up in Comedy Tour” for Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the youth building of Acton United Methodist Church. The event will be catered by Paradise Bistro & Coffee Co. and will also benefit HCSAC.

“Jeff Allen, who is very funny, is a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict,” Turner said. “He plays at churches across the country and comedy clubs. He believes in this mission of helping get the word out about the dangers of substance abuse, especially in our young people.”

If anyone misses the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, they can still dispose of their prescriptions in the permanent drop box at any time located at the Hood County Sheriff’s Office at 400 Deputy Miller Dr., or at CVS Pharmacy located at 1101 E. U.S. Highway 377 in Granbury during regular business hours.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event, go online to takebackday.dea.gov or call HCSAC at (817) 579-5100.

ashley@hcnews.com | 817-573-1243